Bill Blevins—TMC(SS)

By Wally “Russian”Krupenevich, U.S.S. Irex Newsletter, November 2004

[ COB Blevins ] Bill Blevins was Irex's COB when I went aboard in 1951. He was later relieved by “Dutch” Larch.

Bill's son, Dan, came to the USSYWWII Convention in Houston. Unfortunately, no one from Irex was in the hospitality room at the time, so he left a note that included this picture. I called Dan, who lives in Houston, and had a nice chat with him. He said that although Bill had a severe bout with pneumonia a year ago, he's doing fine now. Bill turned 90 the next-day. Dan said that although Bill was unable to be there in person, he was there in spirit. A Happy Birthday Bill—from all of us!

Now, notice Bill's hat—there is no backing for the CPO insignia. He's only wearing a Combat Pin a—where are his Dolphins—on his lower left sleeve, where everyone else wore them at the time. You can barely see it, but his crow is on his right arm—at that time the right arm rates were TM, BM, QM, SM, GM and others that were considered “deck rates.” Deck rates were “senior” to left arm rates. This picture was probably taken c. 1945.

Another bit of trivia—when TM was changed from right arm to left arm, the torpedoes pointed aft for many years until the uniform shops were able to use up the crows they had, and finally point the torpedo forward. When anyone asked how come, we'd explain that we were in the After Room.

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